What Can Happen When You Don’t Edit

blogicon

1106 Design

May 15, 2015

EditingIn April, Hillary Clinton announced her intentions to run for President of the United States. She did so via social media, a video, and a statement on her new campaign website. Her plans came as no surprise, which is a good thing because the typo in her announcement was more sensational than the declaration itself.

In the closing line of her statement, Ms. Clinton says that she has “…fought children and families all her career.” Perhaps this was a Freudian slip, but in truth she meant to say that she has “…fought FOR children and families all her career.” Because the media loves to find fault, Ms. Clinton’s error—more than likely the error of some young and overworked web content assistant—is what people will remember about the day she announced her run for the Presidency, the culmination of her career-to-date, and arguably one of the best and most important days of her life.

As an author, the day that your book launches will be one of the best days of your life as well. The moment that you have worked toward for so long and with such intensity finally arrives. When you crack open the cover of your freshly printed book, you want to savor the moment, not find a typo. Hiring a professional copy editor, in addition to having your book proofread by a fresh set of eyes after the book is typeset, will help ensure your day stays special.

Editing and proofing extend to your marketing materials as well: your website, advertisements, press releases, social media posts—anything that people will read about you and your book. An editor will not only find typos but will highlight statements that don’t come across as intended. I once designed a brochure for a photographer. When I typeset the text of her bio, I noticed that one of her sentences read as follows: “In particular I love to shoot children and their families.” Perhaps she, like Ms. Clinton, was busy saving the world from little children, but as the brochure was meant to be distributed at a children’s summer camp, I didn’t think people would appreciate her special skill as much as she did. We agreed to change “shoot” to “photograph.” Then there is the cooked chicken cookbook: the author forgot to specify that in each recipe the chicken was assumed to be cooked. In the process of editing that book, we probably saved lives, if not reputations.

Don’t let embarrassing errors detract from your message, and don’t let typos be how your special moment is remembered!

You may like these

Author Pseudonyms 101: Uses and Best Practices

Author Pseudonyms 101: Uses and Best Practices

You may have reached a point in your author career where you’re wondering whether a pen name would be beneficial. Let’s take a look at what pen names are, some best practices for using them, and other considerations to make. What Is a Pen Name? A pen name, or...

read more
Do You Need an Author Website?

Do You Need an Author Website?

The further we progress into this digital era, the more it makes sense for authors to eke out their own corners online. Social media can be a good place to start if you have the time to set up accounts and engage with others there. However, before long, you may be...

read more
How to Publish a Book

How to Publish a Book

Once you finish writing your book, you may wonder what the next steps are. You’ll be faced with a myriad of possibilities, but at their core, they all boil down to whether you want to traditionally publish your book or not. Outside of traditional publishing, you’ll...

Self-Publishing Services: What You Need to Know

Self-Publishing Services: What You Need to Know

Competition is tough in the publishing industry. Millions of books are published each year, and it’s a constant struggle to stand out in the marketplace and convince buyers to choose YOUR book. Offering a quality product is the first step toward publishing success....

Author Story: Mark Graban

Author Story: Mark Graban

The Mistakes that Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation is one of several books authored by Mark Graban, who found inspiration in the idea of helping others learn from their mistakes and in the stories and insights shared by guests on his podcast...